Camper's Guide to Artifical Fishing Lures

News & Tips: Camper's Guide to Artifical Fishing Lures...

CampersGuidetoArtificalLures blogFishing and camping complement each other. Whether it is a small, trout-stocked pond next to the camp store of a private campground, or a thousand-acre reservoir within a short drive of a public campsite, a large percentage of campers include fishing on the activity list. Nearly every campground commissary offers a rack of plastic creatures intended to fool a resident fish into biting the hidden fish hook attached to the fishing lure. Some of those artificial lures are likely to catch only fisherman and women, and seldom or if at all, catch fish. Following are a few selection tips for the primary lineup of baits that may improve your catch.   

There are several categories of artificial fishing lures, each having their own characteristics. The main categories are: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, soft baits, spoons and jigs.


The primary characteristics of the crankbait (also called plugs) that attracts fish are sound and sight. The sound produced by a crankbait is created with metal balls implanted inside the bait's body. The crankbait is designed with different shaped lips that control the diving action of the lure. A crankbait with a lip sticking straight out will dive deeper, presenting a lure to fish that have suspended in deeper water during warmer times of the season. A crankbait with a vertical lip dives the least. This is the lure to present to fish that are becoming more active as spring arrives or fall approaches, driving fish to the shallow water. The popper type lure creates a similar effect. The gurgling that the popper makes, imitates an injured baitfish.


Spinnerbaits draw fish with vibration and flash. This action is produced by the lures' blade (or blades), which come in different shapes and sizes to offer different actions to match the current fish feeding activity. Pausing a spinning lure during retrieve and allowing it to flutter downward will entice the fish to strike.

Soft Plastic Baits

The soft plastic bait is the most versatile bait manufactured today. The advantage of soft plastic baits is its natural feel to fish, which will persuade the fish to hold on after biting. The natural movement of soft plastic is another advantage to enticing a bite. Bounced off of the bottom or against structure during retrieve is most productive. Many shapes, colors and sizes are available in soft plastics for certain seasons, but soft plastics are productive year-round.

Fishing Spoons & Jigs

Spoons and jigs attract by sight, either with flash or vertical movement. Tip a spoon or a jig with a worm or minnow to complete a productive rigging. The spoon imitates an injured baitfish, so it is best retrieved in an erratic manner. The main objective to selecting an artificial lure is to match the current food of the target game fish you are after. Sight, sound, and taste are the primary keys to a productive artificial lure.